Ship To Ship Combat Discussion


General Discussion


Pathfinder Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Society Subscriber

So apparently I've heard from a friend that participated in the Test Play at Gen Con:

I had suspected that this would merely be a glorified chase mechanic, I was wrong. Apparently each ship has various roles that must be fulfilled by various characters. Each role requires different skills to improve rerolls and skill checks, etc. Pilot requires pilot skills, Engineer requires certain engineering and mechanic skills, Gunner requires combat skills, etc.The combats are turn based with each player fulfilling their combat role for the sake of piloting the ship through combat. The twist is that the character sitting in the Captain's chair can act out of turn and redirect a character's efforts to a different task.

Apparently no one at the table during this play test told the Captain that "I canne change tha laws of physics, captain."


Here's more of a discussion about this topic:

http://paizo.com/threads/rzs2tujy?Space-battles-subgame


Coffee Demon wrote:

Here's more of a discussion about this topic:

link

Link fixed. :)


Please put in big, bold letters...

Ship to ship combat is not like character combat! You do not need to reduce ship HP to single digits every single fight!

Seriously, I have a GM who mainly runs fantasy but loves science fiction, and insists in running ship combat like fantasy combat. Every time your ship gets into a fight, it's 6 months in spacedock (for Trek) or the next adventure is getting the stuff needed to fix the damn ship (for anything else).


To be fair under a lot of systems, targeting anything but directly-the-hull-if-possible leads to even MORE time in spacedock to fix things.

The worst is when repairs are directly a factor of damaged component prices, and labor directly a factor of the expenditure.

Repairing the hull isn't cheap either, but damaged weapons or reactors can cost millions.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

To be fair under a lot of systems, targeting anything but directly-the-hull-if-possible leads to even MORE time in spacedock to fix things.

The worst is when repairs are directly a factor of damaged component prices, and labor directly a factor of the expenditure.

Repairing the hull isn't cheap either, but damaged weapons or reactors can cost millions.

It's more along the lines that in any real or fantasy/science fiction world, if your ship needed as many repairs after any combat as the ones I have been in during games, the entire stff would have been drummed out of the service for gross incompetence.

It doesn't feel very heroic, that's for sure.


Adventure Path Charter Subscriber; Pathfinder Rulebook, Starfinder Adventure Path, Starfinder Roleplaying Game, Starfinder Society Subscriber

Repairing large, complex machines is expensive and time-consuming.

In a lot of fiction, straight-forward ship-to-ship combat is something that is almost a "last resort." Because it is so expensive in money and time ("Ask me for anything but time.").

A ship captain should be using misdirection/stealth and maneuver to set up as devastating a "first blow" as possible, so as to minimize the return fire from the opponent. They should also be ready to retreat (or just break off temporarily) if they are in a disadvantageous situation; unless they have no other choice. "Toe-to-toe" slugging matches are too wasteful to be a common tactic.


Ah, if only it were that simple in games though.

Sometimes encounters happen no matter what. Perhaps some AP demands it, or perhaps the GM wants to get a point across or has nothing better written up and needs to eat an hour and a half at least.

Far too often, not only is retreat not an option (most annoyingly, it 'is' but then "a totally different encounter that is exactly that one" becomes what you "came across instead) but even sneaking up and getting a devastating alpha-strike can be "you've been caught for reasons roll for initiative".


If a company or government realizes taking the ship into combat is a catastrophe in of itself, they will research technologies to mitigate the need for a damaged ship to be abandoned, scrapped, or repaired in space dock over so many months. Perhaps they'll come up with replicating repair drones that can be stowed in advance and used for patch jobs to keep everything running long enough to win the fight or withdraw and escape in one piece.

It would help matters if we assumed that ship's systems can be disabled or crippled with relatively little effort; but that it takes a whole lot of effort (or a very lucky hit, or a specialized or exotic weapon) to pound at that same system hard enough to turn it into irreparable junk.

Remember how easily in Star Trek, a starship's transporters went offline in the first few moments of combat. It was relatively simple to lose warp drive or main power as well. Shields and weapons and life support are generally the last systems to fail, mainly for dramatic purposes. :)


Actually in Star Trek it's that they can't use transporters through interference or even their own shields. You can rarely use the transporters in combat for that reason: both have to have shields down for it to even work, and without shields things like phasers slice hull like chainsaws through butter.

Note if you play Star Trek Online be aware the game reverses the usual rules/statements due to having inexplicably stuck a 75% reduction vs shields on torpedoes, making phasers better at everything. But in the actual ST setting, torpedoes are good for overloading shields, and they do blow hull to shreds as well - but with shields down the phasers are just as effective, with no ammo limits or anywhere near the reload time.


Maybe there will be some space fighting like this -> space fighters


Things get a bit different when it's vectors and acceleration.
Though its hex-based, if you look up the old space combat rules for the Silhouette system (like Jovian Chronicles) it worked fairly well. Plus it made engines one of the nastiest weapons available - as is only righteous, proper and Good when you're spewing plasma out the back the same way that pathetically tiny "sword" the other guy's wielding is.

Very different from the typical "naval or air combat" type rules we see for a lot of stuff including star wars, but can easily be as exciting; just that things don't move the same way is all.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

Things get a bit different when it's vectors and acceleration.

Though its hex-based, if you look up the old space combat rules for the Silhouette system (like Jovian Chronicles) it worked fairly well. Plus it made engines one of the nastiest weapons available - as is only righteous, proper and Good when you're spewing plasma out the back the same way that pathetically tiny "sword" the other guy's wielding is.

Very different from the typical "naval or air combat" type rules we see for a lot of stuff including star wars, but can easily be as exciting; just that things don't move the same way is all.

> Attack Vector: Tactical < is arguable the best hex-based space combat game in existence.

Perhaps Paizo can make a marketing deal with the owner and include some of it.

.


Jamie Charlan wrote:

To be fair under a lot of systems, targeting anything but directly-the-hull-if-possible leads to even MORE time in spacedock to fix things.

The worst is when repairs are directly a factor of damaged component prices, and labor directly a factor of the expenditure.

Repairing the hull isn't cheap either, but damaged weapons or reactors can cost millions.

Larger ships may well be incapacitated by critical hits before they get to 0 HP.


Oh no, friend. You've replied to a thread thats just 2 days shy of being a year old! It looks like the other post you've made was also to a year-old thread. Post dates are important to check!

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